Tag: 2010 Spring

Chomsky: Award for Lifetime Contribution to Critical Scholarship

Noam Chomsky
Thursday, April 8, 2010, 7 pm, Orpheum Theatre


No tickets required



NOAM CHOMSKY is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, political activist, author, and lecturer. He is an Institute Professor and professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is well known in the academic and scientific community as one of the fathers of modern linguistics. In the 1950s, Chomsky began developing his theory of generative grammar, which has undergone numerous revisions and has had a profound influence on linguistics. His approach to the study of language emphasizes "an innate set of linguistic principles shared by all humans" known as universal grammar, "the initial state of the language learner," and discovering an "account for linguistic variation via the most general possible mechanisms." He also established the Chomsky hierarchy, a classification of formal languages in terms of their generative power. Since the 1960s, he has become known more widely as a political dissident, an anarchist, and a libertarian socialist intellectual. Beginning with his opposition to the Vietnam War, Chomsky established himself as a prominent critic of US foreign and domestic policy. In February 1967, Chomsky became one of the leading opponents of the war with the publication of his essay, "THE RESPONSIBILITY OF INTELLECTUALS," in the The New York Review of Books. This was followed by his 1969 book, AMERICAN POWER AND THE NEW MANDARINS, a collection of essays that placed him at the forefront of American dissent. A prolific author, Chomsky has written dozens of books, including THE FATEFUL TRIANGLE: THE UNITED STATES, ISRAEL, AND THE PALESTINIANS (1983), MANUFACTURING CONSENT: THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF THE MASS MEDIA, with E. S. Herman (1988), NECESSARY ILLUSIONS: THOUGHT CONTROL IN DEMOCRATIC SOCIETIES (1989), 9-11 (2001), UNDERSTANDING POWER: THE INDISPENSABLE CHOMSKY (2002), HEGEMONY OR SURVIVAL: AMERICA'S QUEST FOR DOMINANCE (2003), and HOPE AND PROSPECTS (forthcoming, 2010). His far-reaching criticisms of US foreign policy and the legitimacy of US power have made him a controversial figure: largely shunned by the mainstream media in the United States, he is frequently sought out for his views by publications and news outlets worldwide. According to the Arts and Humanities Citation Index in 1992, Chomsky was cited as a source more often than any other living scholar during the 1980–92 period, and was the eighth most-cited source. He is also a self-declared adherent of libertarian socialism, which he regards as "the proper and natural extension of classical liberalism into the era of advanced industrial society."


Liza Featherstone & Doug Henwood
LIZA FEATHERSTONE: "Do Americans Hate Politics and Love Shopping?"
Tuesday, March 16, 4 pm, 8411 Social Science
DOUG HENWOOD: "The Crisis is Over: What Next?"
Wednesday, March 17, 4pm, 8417 Social Science
FEATHERSTONE & HENWOOD: Open Seminar for Students, Faculty and Public
Thursday, March 18, 12:20 pm, 8108 Social Science

Revolution, Reform & Class Transformation in China

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Joel Andreas
"Rise of the Red Engineers: The Origins of China's Technocratic Class"
Tuesday, April 13, 4pm, 206 Ingraham
"Dismantling Participatory Paternalism in Chinese Factories"
Wednesday, April 14, 4pm, 8417 Social Science
Open Seminar for Students, Faculty and Public
Thursday, April 15, 12:20 pm, 8108 Social Science

Co-sponsored by the Global Studies Program

JOEL ANDREAS is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University, where studies political contention and social change in contemporary China. His recent book, Rise of the Red Engineers: The Cultural Revolution and the Origins of China’s New Class (2009), analyzes the contentious process through which old and new elites coalesced during the decades following the 1949 Communist Revolution. He is currently investigating changing relations between managers and workers in Chinese factories between 1949 and the present. 

Whither Urban Theory?

Kanishka Goonewardena
"Urban Studies, Critical Theory, Radical Politics"
Tuesday, April 27, 4pm, 206 Ingraham
"The Right to the City"
Wednesday, April 28, 4pm, 8417 Social Science
Open Seminar for Students, Faculty and Public
Thursday, April 29, 12:20 pm, 8108 Social Science

KANISHKA GOONEWARDENA was trained as an architect in Sri Lanka and now teaches urban design and critical theory at the University of Toronto. He co-edited Space, Difference, Everyday Life: Reading Henri Lefebvre (New York: Routledge, 2008) and is working on a book on the late capitalist appropriations of critical theory by urban studies entitled The Future of Planning at the End of History. The broad counters of his research--published in journals such as Antipode, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Planning Theory, Radical History Review--are marked by the making of cities, the modes of imperialism and the production of ideology.

A New New Deal

Amy Dean
"A New New Deal: How Regional Activism will Reshape the American Labor Movement"
Thursday, April 29, 7pm, Madison Central Library, Room 202/204, 201 Miflin St.

Organized by the Labor and Working Class Studies Project

Co-sponsored by the A.E. Havens Center, IBEW Local 2304, Madison Teachers Incorporated, Rainbow Bookstore, School for Workers, UW-Extension, the South Central Federation of Labor, the Teaching Assistants Association, Wisconsin Science Professionals, the Workers’ Rights Center, the Working Class Student Union, and WORT 89.9 FM.

AMY DEAN was president of the South Bay Labor Council in Silicon Valley from 1993-2001. Dean chaired AFL-CIO President John Sweeney’s committee on the future direction of labor strategy at the regional level. She is co-author, with David B. Reynolds, of A New New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement.